Alfalfa cubes and hay flakes are the most common feeding methods most people use for horses. Both sustain the horses, and they keep them fed and healthy. However, when you switch from one feeding method to the other, you might get confused. It is because the two feeding methods are different in quantity, and you should know how many Alfalfa cubes are equal to a flake of hay.
One average cube of Alfalfa is equal to one flake of hay. Each weighs nearly 5 pounds, so the feeding amount of the two methods is almost the same. For example, if you feed your horse 16 pounds a day of hay, you should provide them 16 pounds of Alfalfa when you decide to switch.
It doesn’t matter which feeding method you choose if your horses are healthy and fed enough. That said, many people prefer one over the other. Unfortunately, alfalfa cubes are also hard to come by in some states, and you will have to choose another method. But on the other hand, hay can also be hard to store when you need more space.
A Flake Of Hay Is Equal To How Many Alfalfa Cubes?
When you start feeding your horses alfalfa cubes instead of hay, you might wonder how much to feed to your horses. You may already know that only some hay flakes are the same size and that different kinds of Alfalfa cubes also come in varying sizes, so this is a tricky topic. It would be best if you fed your horse according to the weight of the grain rather than the volume or number of cubes.
When you measure the food by volume, you can overfeed your horses or underfeed them, and neither of these is very good for your horse. It all depends on the size and weight of your hay flake. It would be best if you weighed the standard flake of hay and then matched the number of Alfalfa cubes to that amount.
For example, your average hay flake weighs roughly 5 lbs, and a cube of Alfalfa also weighs nearly 5 lbs. Thus a cube of Alfalfa is equal to a flake of hay. However, this is a rough estimate based on the average size of the feeds. Therefore, the only precise answer will be to weigh them side by side and compare them.
There are numerous differences between the two feed types. If you prefer to feed your horses a more natural food, you should go with hay flakes. However, Alfalfa cubes have much more proteins and other things your horses need, so it’s a great option. You can also choose to feed your animals both of them.
What Are Alfalfa Cubes?
There are many advantages to Alfalfa cubes. For example, they contain crude protein, digestible energy, and high calcium content, which is excellent for your horses. The cubes reduced feed waste and had a controlled feed intake. In addition, you can easier monitor the intake of Alfalfa. Another great thing about them is that they are easy to handle in bulk.
The Alfalfa cubes are also denser than the hay cubes so you can store more of them in your space. This way, they also have fewer transportation costs. You can transport them yourself as well as you can fit more into your trailer or cab. They are perfect for taking to shows and your trail rides.
But like any other great thing in life, it does have its disadvantages. For example, the horses can overfeed on the cubes, become overweight, and have serious digestive issues. In addition, Alfalfa Cubes can be challenging to acquire, and the cost of importing them can be high in certain states.
What Are Hay Flakes?
Hay flakes are a more natural way of feeding your horses. However, you should avoid feeding your horse by flakes, and instead, you should feed by weight as you could over or underfeed your horses this way. Hay flakes can vary in size and weight. You can also choose many types of hay to feed your horses.
A common mistake many horse owners make is buying the cheapest hay they can find. Forage is essential in a horse’s diet and provides the horse with many things, such as
They need all of these to be healthy. When you buy higher quality hay, the minerals and such will be higher in quantity and quality.
Your hay should be a good color and not smell misty or damp in any way. Otherwise, it’s not safe for your horses to eat. New hay and old hay can be combined and introduced to a horse’s diet. Weeds, thistles, bracken, and ragwort have no place in the hay.
Can You Feed Alfalfa Cubes And Hay Flakes Together?
When you switch from one feeding method to the other, you can only expect your horses to accept the change after some time, so you will have to introduce them gradually to the other method. So this means combined feeding. First, you’ll need to figure out 2% – 3% of the horse’s body weight. You can then divide that number into two and determine how much your feeds must weigh.
Feeding Methods Of Alfalfa Cubes
You can use alfalfa cubes for many things, such as bulking out a lean horse to keeping a pregnant, nursing, or overworked horse at a healthy weight. You can also use it to ensure an elderly horse gets all the nutrients it needs. There are also quite a few ways you can feed the Alfalfa cubes to your horses.
1. Dry Feeding Method
You can choose to feed the Alfalfa cubes dry to your horses. It’s the most straightforward method, and many people prefer this method. You also don’t have to clean up any messy mash this why, as it can stick to everything, including the buckets and even the horses themselves. But be careful, as the dry cubes can cause the horses to choke.
2. Combining Water With Alfalfa Cubes Method
When your horse is new to Alfalfa cubes, spray them with water. The horses eat fast and can choke on them if they are dry. You also don’t need to wait long, as they will soften after adding water almost immediately.
3. Soaked Alfalfa Cubes In Water Method
Adding a little water to the cubes isn’t enough for many horses, so you can add more water and then form a sort of mash sins some horses have dental and digestive issues, mostly older horses. Developing the cubes into a mash is a great way to give the horses their extra oils and supplements. It can let the horses drink more when they are dehydrated.
4. Alfalfa Cubes Soaked In Warm Water Method
Owners can spray the Alfalfa cubes with cold water. However, this method could be more appealing to horses. You can instead use warm water and form a mash. The mash will be ready within minutes when you use the warm water method. The warm water will also let the cubes be soaked faster. You can do this on a cold day, and they will enjoy it.
Feed The Horses By Weight And Not Volume
Feeding the horses by volume can cause problems in their diet. It can lead to your horses being overweight, or they can become underweight. The best way to determine the amount you should feed your horses is by weighing them. Feeding your horses by pounds is the best way to fulfill their food requirements.
Chronic illnesses, dental problems, or parasites often cause underweight horses. It can cause your horses to lose their shiny coat and get lethargy and stiffness in their muscles. On the other hand, being overweight can lead to increased stress on their cardiorespiratory system and increased fatigue.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you replace alfalfa cubes with hay?
Yes, you can replace Alfalfa cubes with hay. Hay is an alternative to Alfalfa cubes, and Alfalfa cubes are an alternative to hay. Either method you choose will work and sustain your horses.
- How many flakes of hay are in a bale?
There are roughly 12 flakes in a bale of hay. Each flake weighs approximately 5 pounds. Thus, a bale of hay must weigh 40 – 70 pounds, depending on the size of the flakes.
- How many Alfalfa cubes should I feed my horse?
It would be best if you fed your horse according to their weight. You can work out their weight and then weigh their feed. However, you should feed your horses approximately 16 pounds a day each.
An Alfalfa cube is almost the same amount as a flake of hay. So there is only one way to feed your horses hay, but with the cubes, you can serve them in quite a few ways, so they don’t choke on the dry cubes. However, you might need help finding Alfalfa flakes in some areas, and you can also struggle to find a good hay supplier.